I have ‘not interfered’ with Mueller investigation, Whitaker says

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Democrats have vowed to press Whitaker at the hearing about his conversations with President Trump, and Whitaker's decision not to recuse himself from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election. When Nadler gaveled the hearing into a five-minute recess, Whitaker said into an open mic: "Five minutes for lunch?"

"The Democrats in Congress yesterday were vicious and totally showed their cards for everyone to see", Trump tweeted Saturday morning.

Although Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is understood to have continued overseeing the investigation after President Trump elevated Whitaker, the acting attorney general said last month he's been "fully briefed" on Mueller's work and that he expected it to conclude soon.

Whitaker infuriated Democrats by not giving "yes" or "no" answers, referring them to other departments such as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and at times challenging their questions.

NBC called it an "extraordinary move" for Whitaker to cut off Nadler. Whitaker's exchanges with House Democrats sometimes got heated.

Republicans, who until recently led the committee, complained on Friday that the hearing was a "dog and pony" show meant to discredit the president.

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The acting attorney general made the comments Friday during a contentious hearing of the Democrat-led House Judiciary Committee.

On Thursday evening, Nadler said no subpoena would be issued if Whitaker appeared before the committee Friday prepared to answer questions.

The hearing became terse several times when lawmakers peppered Whitaker for simple "yes" or "no" answers.

He was also pushed to explain his decision not to recuse himself from the Mueller investigation.

"It was deeply concerning to me how CNN found out about that", Whitaker said, noting that no other media outlets appeared to be tipped off.

Nadler asked on Friday what Trump hoped to get out of appointing him and what Whitaker provided to Trump, a question the top Republican on the committee, Georgia Rep. Doug Collins, called "offensive".

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The Justice Department said Whitaker would not testify unless Democrats assured him that they would not issue a subpoena. He criticized the committee for prematurely and unnecessarily authorizing a subpoena for him even though he had agreed to appear.

They want answers from the Justice Department about immigration policy and border enforcement as the slow-burning feud continues down Pennsylvania Avenue over more barriers on the Southern border with Mexico.

Whitaker has come under scrutiny for his involvement with the invention-promotion company, World Patent Marketing, which was accused of misleading consumers and has been under investigation by the FBI.

On Saturday Trump said that Republicans "never acted with such hatred and scorn" when they had the majority. Whitaker's testimony comes one day after the Senate Judiciary Committee narrowly voted to advance William Barr's nomination to replace Jeff Sessions as attorney general along party lines.

Mr Trump has denounced the investigations as "presidential harassment".

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